Living With Ghosts
In a time when there is an overflow of women singer-songwriters, there are a few who stand out from the crowd. As shown on her debut album, “Living With Ghosts,” Patty Griffin proves herself to be one of those individuals. Recorded in a Nashville kitchen and an apartment outside of a Boston hospital, “Living With Ghosts” was originally going to be a promotional demo. Instead, A&M Records sent it out to be sold across the country. While the instrumentation is spare (only Griffin, her songs, and her acoustic guitar), the final result is anything but lacking. Her strong voice has been likened to that of Alanis Morissette’s because of their shared vocal strength and clarity, but the comparison stops there. Patty Griffin is more like fellow folk-rock stars Ani DiFranco and Shawn Colvin. Griffin is an engaging storyteller and her voice is compelling. The single, “Every Little Bit,” is one of the most promising songs on the album with her voice going from a soft whisper to a powerful wail. The song has a fiery force despite its minimalism. Another standout is the hauntingly beautiful “You Are Not Alone,” which Shawn Colvin joined in on during the live performances they shared. Although the album has an underproduced sound, it is still arguably one of the best to have been released recently by a singer-songwriter. Look for Patty Griffin this summer at the Lillith Fair. .